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Ohio Drivers License

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Find a licensing center

While some driver’s license services are available online, you will need to go to an Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles office in person for most driver’s license services. You can look up the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles here.

Getting a license for the first time

First time getting your driver’s license? Here’s everything you need to know.

Under 18

The process for those under 18 begins with applying for a temporary instructional permit identification card. You must go in-person to a driver exam station to take a knowledge test and vision exam. Before testing, you must prove your name, age, and Social Security number, if assigned using acceptable documents. You can receive your temporary permit at age 15 and six months or older. The cost varies slightly depending upon your age, but is between $25 and $28.

The temporary permit allows you to practice driving with a licensed adult driver in the car with you. Once you have met the following requirements, you may return to an exam center, pass a road test, and receive a probationary license.

  • Be 16 years old or older and have had the temporary instructional card for at least six months
  • Complete an approved driver training course that includes 24 hours of classroom time and eight hours of driving time
  • Complete 50 hours of practice driving

The probationary license has these restrictions:

  • You may not drive between midnight -and 6 a.m. unless:
    • Accompanied by a parent or guardian
    • Driving to or from work with documentation from the employer (form BMV 2825) or an official school-sponsored event or a religious event with appropriate documentation from an event official (form BMV 2826)
  • You may not operate a vehicle with more than one non-family member as a passenger unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • You and all passengers must wear safety belts.
  • You as the driver may not use any mobile devices

After you’ve had the probationary license for one year without a traffic violation, the hours when you can’t drive unaccompanied are reduced to 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. and the restriction on the number of passengers is removed. At age 18, the probationary license becomes a regular license.

Age 18+

The process for adults also begins with a temporary instructional permit ID card. You’ll go to a driver exam station, and pass a knowledge test and vision exam. You’ll need to bring acceptable documents to prove your name, age, and Social Security number. The instructional permit allows you to practice driving with a licensed adult driver over 21.

You may schedule a road test to obtain your regular driver’s license once you meet the following conditions:

  • Have the temporary instructional card for at least six months
  • Complete an approved driver training course that includes 24 hours of classroom time and eight hours of driving time
  • Complete 50 hours of practice driving

Renewing your license

If you obtained your current license in person and have a photo on file, you can renew your license online. Otherwise, you’ll need to visit a BMV office in person. You bring your ID documents and $27.25.

Do you need a Real ID?

Do you have to get a Real ID? Nope. Will you want one? Probably.

Starting October 1, 2021, your standard driver’s license will no longer be accepted as proof of identification at airports. You’ll need a passport or a Real ID, also known as a compliant ID, instead. These require additional identity documentation.

Upgrade your probationary license

A probationary license automatically converts on your 18th birthday if you’ve had no traffic violations.

Replace a lost or stolen license

Currently, Ohio law requires that you replace a lost or stolen license in person at a driver’s license center.

First Time Driver.com: How to Get Your Ohio Driver’s License

NBC 4: Ohio driver licenses and ID cards can be renewed online under new law

Ohio BMV: Driver License and ID cards

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Last Verified:
Jun 14, 2022